by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
First place for Omar Ammous, the no.7 seed but he needed a little help from a friend.
The previous day he had been beaten in four games by colleague, Atef Ben Salah (11-9, 13-15, 15-13, 11-8); after having accounted for Egypt’s Ziad Wael in three straight games (11-9, 11-7, 11-5). One day later, as the group stage matches concluded, Ziad Wael beat Atef Ben Salah in five games (10-12, 16-14, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8).
Thus games ratio was required to decide the order of merit. It was first place for Omar Ammous (4:3) with Atef Ben Salah in second spot (5:4) and Zael Wael third (4:5), the player to miss out on a main draw place.
Calculations needed but not for Mootezz Saadaoui, the no.10 seed; after having lost to India’s Payas Jain the previous day (13-11, 13-11, 11-7), he accounted for Egypt’s Ahmed Almahdy (11-9, 11-6, 11-8) to secure runners up spot. Payas Jain duly maintained his unbeaten record to top the group; in his concluding initial stage contest, he accounted for Algeria’s Abderrahmane Azzala (11-8, 11-9, 11-9).
A somewhat surprise first place for Payas Jain; it was the same for Egypt’s Youssef Abdelwahab. Both players hitherto unbeaten, in the concluding group phase contest, he accounted for Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Alamri, the no.8 seed (4-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7, 13-11).
Second place in the group meant an opening round contest; notably Atef Ben Salah beat India’s Maanav Mehta (11-6, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7), Mootezz Saadaoui accounted for Abdulaziz Alamri (11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7).
Otherwise for the leading names, first place in the group was attained.
Romania’s Cristian Pletea and Rares Sipos duly topped their groups, as did Portugal’s José Pedro Francisco and Vitor Amorim. Likewise it was top spot for the host nation’s Aboubaker Bourass and Egypt’s Ahmed Meshref as it was for Italy’s John Oyebode and Matteo Gualdi, the one player who finished in first place and was one required to compete in the first round.
Impressively, he beat Algeria’s Abdelbasset Chaichi (11-8, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7).
Photos: Mokhtar Hmima